Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!
Subscribe to the newsletter!
The State issued new guidelines for Phase 5 of the Illinois’ Reopening Plan. The State is on track to enter Phase 5 on June 11.
“After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19,” said Governor JB Pritzker in a prepared statement. “Thanks to the hard work of residents across the state, Illinois will soon resume life as we knew it before – returning to events, gatherings, and a fully reopened economy, with some of the safety guidelines we’ve adopted still in place. As we fully reopen, this administration remains laser focused on ensuring a strong recovery for our small businesses and communities. Our FY22 budget invests $1.5 billion in small business relief, tourism, job-creating capital projects and more and we look forward to getting these dollars to communities across our state as quickly as possible.”
“Upon entering Phase 5, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” said the Governor’s Office. “The State will continue to recommend masking for unvaccinated persons, and require it for all people while traveling on public transportation, in congregate settings, in health care settings, as well as in schools, day cares, and educational institutions pursuant to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and CDC guidance. Businesses and local municipalities can put in place additional mitigations as they deem appropriate.
“Under Phase 5, all sectors of the economy can resume at regular capacity. Phase 5 also marks the return of traditional conventions, festivals, and large events without capacity restrictions. Large gatherings of all sizes can resume across all industry settings, and Phase 5 removes requirements that businesses institute mandatory social distancing in seated venues as well as daily health screenings of employees and visitors. Businesses and venues should continue to allow for social distancing to the extent possible, especially indoors. Businesses and venues may also continue to put in place additional public health mitigations as they deem appropriate, including requiring face coverings.”
The guidelines provide:
“For businesses and venues where everyone present is fully vaccinated, the state does not require face coverings and social distancing in both indoor and outdoor settings. Businesses and municipalities are permitted to continue requiring face coverings and social distancing as they deem appropriate.
“For indoor businesses and venues where everyone present is not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated persons should wear a face covering and maintain six feet social distance. Businesses and venues may continue to require face coverings and/or social distancing. At outdoor businesses and venues, unvaccinated persons may choose not to wear a face covering when able to maintain a six-foot social distance while outdoors, unless required to do so by a business or municipality.
“Although people who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face covering under state guidance, businesses and venues should be supportive of customers and employees who choose to wear a face covering.
“Persons who are immunocompromised should consider wearing face coverings when in settings where others may not be fully vaccinated.
“All unvaccinated persons should wear face coverings in crowded settings, both indoors and outdoors, especially when youth are present. See CDC guidance for further information.
“There are limited circumstances and settings where all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, must continue to wear a mask in accordance with CDC guidance: (1) on public transportation, (2) in congregate facilities, (3) in health care settings, and where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
“Individuals in schools, day care settings, and educational institutions should continue to follow separate guidance issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and Illinois Department of Public Health.
“All businesses and venues should support social distancing to the extent possible, especially in indoor settings. Businesses and venues should apply best practices in managing distancing at such places as concessions/counters, public restrooms, and lines/queuing.”
The guidelines recommend, “Everyone aged 12 years and older should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to keep from getting and/or spreading COVID-19.”
Risk of Community Spread
The charts in the above chart box show that the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 in Evanston, Suburban Cook County, Chicago and the State are continuing to decline, and that they are each below IDPH’s benchmark of 50. The low test positivity rate in each region shows that testing is adequate. The data shows that all four regions are controlling the spread of the virus.
For benchmarks used to assess the risk of spread, see footnotes 1 – 4.
Evanston – COVID
The City reported 2 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents today.
The average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is about 0.7, down from the seven-day average of 1.7 on May 28.
In the last seven days, there was a total of 5 new COVID-19 cases of Evanstonians, which equates to about 7 new cases per 100,000 people in the seven-day period.
Evanston’s case positivity rate for the last seven days is 0.09%.
There has been a total of 4,640 COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents during the pandemic, 24 of which are active.
No Evanstonian has died due to COVID-19 since May 31. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 118.
Impact of Northwestern University. Northwestern University has posted data on its website reporting that between May 28 and June 3, there were 2 new confirmed COVID-19 cases of NU students. If the students reside in Evanston, the cases would be included in the City’s numbers. 
Illinois – COVID-19
In the State, there were 626 new COVID-19 cases reported today, up from yesterday’s number of 674.
Statewide, the average number of new cases per day in the last seven days is 586. The seven-day average one week ago on May 28 was 972, so today’s number is down by 40%. The downward trend continues. An accompanying chart shows the trend.
In the seven days ending June 4, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the State was 32, down from 54 one week ago.
The seven-day case positivity rate for the State today is 1.3% and the test positivity rate is 1.6%.
On a Statewide basis, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was 901 as of midnight on June 3. The number of patients using ICU beds is 247. The number of patients on ventilators is 140. The trend of each of these is decreasing.
On a Statewide basis, there were 15 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 22,880. For the last seven days, the number of deaths in the State are 37, 18, 33, 8, 9, 24, and 15 today. The seven-day average is 21.
Variants in Illinois
IDPH is reporting a combined total of 8,657 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in the State. The combined total of variants is up 9% from one week ago.
Vaccinations in the State
A total of 11,427,883 doses of vaccine have been administered in Illinois. As of April 1, 83.22% of the residents of Illinois who are 65 and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; and 61.84% of the residents of Illinois who are 16 and older have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. These percentages continue to move up very slowly.
In the last seven-days, the average number of vaccinations given to Illinoisans is 36,025. On April 21, the seven-day average was 122,842. The pace of vaccinations has slowed down even though there is a larger supply and more places to get a vaccination.
1/ On Feb. 12, the CDC issued a K-12 School Operational Strategy. As part of that strategy, the report says, “CDC recommends the use of two measures of community burden to determine the level of risk of transmission: 1) the total number of new cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days; and 2) the percentage of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), including RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 7 days. The two measures of community burden should be used to assess the incidence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the surrounding community (e.g., county) and not in the schools themselves.” The CDC provides a chart to assess whether the risk of transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high. The CDC recommends different types of mitigations depending on the risk level. If the two indicators suggest different levels of risk, the mitigations recommended in the higher level of risk should be implemented, says CDC. The table below, reprinted from CDC’s report, provides CDC’s Indicators and Thresholds for Community Transmission of COVID-219.
CDC’s guidelines are available here: Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention | CDC
2/ Number of Cases per 100,000 Population. On July 1, 2020, a network of research, policy and public health experts convened by Harvard’s Global Health Institute and Edmond J. Safra Center published a Key Metrics for COVID Suppression framework that provides guidance to policy makers and the public on how to target and suppress COVID-19 more effectively across the nation. The targets for new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people are as follows (these are converted from cases per day to cases per week): a) less than 7 cases: “on track for containment;” b) 7 to 63 cases: “community spread,” rigorous test and trace program advised; c) 70 to 168 cases: “accelerated spread,” stay-at-home orders and/or rigorous test and trace programs advised; and d) 169+: ”tipping point,” stay-at-home orders necessary. The article is available here: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/
IDPH provides these categories and ratings: 1) “minimal” – fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 in a week; 2) “moderate” – between 50 and 100 cases per week; and 3) “substantial” more than 100 cases per 100,000 in a week. In its Metrics for School Determination of Community Spread, IDPH says the “target” is 50 cases per week per 100,000 people.
3/ The Test Positivity Rate. In addition, on May 26, 2020, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center said on its website that “the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments [on May 15, 2020] that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing (i.e., out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.” Link: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/testing-positivity
The Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) says, “A network of research, policy, and public health organizations convened by Harvard and MIT called the TTSI Collaborative has agreed on a 3% test positive rate or below as a key indicator of progress towards suppression level testing.”
IDPH says the test positivity target is 5% or less. IDPH provides these categories and ratings: 1) “Minimal” – test positivity rate is equal to or less than 5%: 2) “Moderate” – test positivity rate is between 5% and 8%; and 3) “Substantial” – test positivity rate is over 8%. In its Metrics for School Determination of Community Spread, IDPH says the target is 5%.
4/ Calculations. The RoundTable calculates the number of cases per 100,000 using case data provided by IDPH and assuming that the population of Suburban Cook County is 2.469 million, that the population of Chicago is 2.710 million, and that the population of Illinois is 12.671 million.
5/ Northwestern University COVID-19 Cases. Ike C. Ogbo, Director of Evanston’s Health & Human Services Department, told the RoundTable that the COVID-19 cases reported by the City include cases of faculty, staff, and students attending Northwestern University who live in Evanston. The RoundTable asked the City in an FOIA Request to provide the number of NU students who tested positive for COVID-19 and who live in Evanston. The City refused to provide the data. On Oct. 26, the RoundTable appealed the City’s decision to the Public Access Counselor of the Attorney General’s Office. On Nov. 13, 2020, the City filed a response claiming it does not have any records showing the number of NU students who tested positive for COVID-19 and who live in Evanston.
The RoundTable has asked Northwestern University on several occasions to provide information breaking out the number of new COVID-19 cases of its faculty, staff and students by residency in Evanston. NU did not respond.
Bridge phase A Bridge to Phase 5 (illinois.gov)